Petition topics getting hotter

Megan McFadden

You have probably been told sometime in your life to read everything you sign. But, if you have ever parked in parking structure B3, you probably have not heeded this advice.

The parking structure is one of the favorite spots for off-campus individuals to gather signatures from students.

The majority of students at some point in their college career have been solicited for a signature on some petition. However, the issues of these petitions are becoming a little more controversial month after month. A few weeks ago a woman was asking students if they would sign in support of gay marriage. And a few weeks before that I was asked if I wanted to see gang members punished. Those are serious topics and a petition that would need to be fully read before I would put my John Hancock on it.

I did not stop for either petitioner, not for my lack of support or not, but that I am generally always running late to something. My curiosity now has me wondering if this is a new approach. Do these petitioners just ask shocking questions to get our attention instead of what the topic is really about? I mean if they stood and said, “Do you support your local PTA?” how many students would stop? And how many students are actually reading what they are signing? In the rush to class after battling the parking structure many students are too reliant on the petitioner to summarize the petition for them before scribbling on the line.

According to the Matador Involvement Center, individuals who are seeking signatures of students must submit the petition they will be seeking signatures on and it must be approved by the MIC. The Center said, however, that once petitioners are on campus, no one really checks to make sure they have approval or not. Also, any political or religious groups are allowed to be on campus as long as they have gone through the appropriate procedures and approval from the MIC.

If the topics are those that the petitioner is selling, it makes sense these individuals come to us. We are in a relaxed cultural diverse setting for education and should be open to lots of different ideas. However, right out asking if you support controversial political topics is risqu’eacute;.

So, the next time your signature is heckled to support universal healthcare or Girl Scouts of America, stop and read the political jargon you are placing our own personal seal of approval on.